Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has concluded a jam-packed programme of events for the Ajyal Film Festival as part of its on-going contributions to the development of Qatar’s media scene and encouragement of local talent.

Everette E. Dennis, Dean and CEO of NU-Q, said:

The Ajyal Film Festival is one of the highlights of our year as the local, regional and international film community comes together in Qatar. It offers a unique platform to stage a vibrant programme of activities showcasing NU-Q’s student talent and world-class faculty, as well as prospective education programmes to young media enthusiasts. As a school centered on nurturing the future leaders of the media industry and media scene in Qatar, it was a pleasure to take part in such a significant and engaging local cinematic, academic and community based event.’

Activities at the Qatar-based festival included; the premiere of five student and alumni films, a TV studio open to community members who were invited to test their newsroom skills in front of the cameras, a cinematic analysis workshop and an interview with award winning international film director, Roger Allers.

Qatar-based talent from NU-Q was on show during the festival with both students and alumni premiering films, including; ‘Amreeka Laa!,’ directed by Hind Al Ansari (Class of 2014); ‘Coucou’, directed by Meriem Mesraoua (Class of 2013); ‘Public Phone,’ directed by Ethar Hassaan (Class of 2013) and Leena Al Musalmani (Class of 2013); ‘Temsah,’ directed by Latifa Al Darwish (Class of 2013) and Rouda Al Meghaiseeb (Class of 2014); and ‘Lumiere’ directed by Aisha Abduljawad (Class of 2015).

As the Ajyal Film Festival came to a close, families, friends and media enthusiasts took to the NU-Q TV studio to experience the rush of presenting the news, and to learn the basics of the challenging task of creating a newscast. The Ajyal Film Festival Family Weekend activity also offered the chance to understand how NU-Q’s education programmes and cutting-edge education facilities are helping to produce the next generation of media talent in Qatar.

As part of the Ajyal Film Festival Scott Curtis, Director of the Communication Program and Associate Professor in Residence at NU-Q, also led a workshop titled, ‘What Do You See? – An Introduction to Film Analysis,’ that offered students the opportunity to recognise patterns of similarity and difference in the interplay between various elements of a film.

In addition, Curtis interviewed one of the world’s greatest animation film directors and screenwriters, Roger Allers, director of the festival’s closing night film, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, as well as Academy Award winning film, The Lion King, and Academy Award nominated short film, The Little Match Girl. Topics discussed covered the challenges of directing animation, the casting of voice actors, the role of storyboards, and Allers’ notable career successes.

Students at NU-Q receive instruction from a world-class international faculty across three major programmes including Journalism, Communication and Liberal Arts. As part of Northwestern University, it boasts more than 200,000 living alumni, including countless public figures, statespersons, and societal leaders. NU-Q is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research and the personal intellectual growth of students within a diverse academic community.

The programmes at NU-Q help cultivate top talent from Qatar and the region and alum have found success at major institutions such as Al Jazeera, Al Rayyan, Amiri Diwan, Doha Film Institute, Hamad Hospital, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar 2022, Qatar Airways, Qatar Foundation, Qatar Media Corporation, Ras Gas and Total Energy and Petroleum.

For more information, visit NU-Q’s website.